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Never Count on Having a Nice Neighbor!

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Posted 04-06-2012 at 09:40 AM by Roy Sanborn

The residential home inventory in the twelve Lakes Region towns in this report jumped up again from 994 properties on the market last month to 1080 as of April 1. That total is also up from 1018 last April 1st. The average price for homes on the market stands at $515,577. Remember, that’s just the average asking price. With the average selling price in February at just $209,000, you can kind of tell what is selling…

I saw a movie on the Netflix steaming service which may be the earliest and best movie about real estate. It should be required viewing for anyone contemplating getting their real estate license. This early silent movie was filmed in 1921 in Germany and was set in the fictitious city of Wisborg where a real estate broker named Knock had his firm. He was marketing property in the nearby sate of Transylvania to get buyers. Since Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet, he was using the Transylvania Sun to reach prospective new clients in this remote area. You can probably guess where this is leading…

Anyway, Knock gets a letter from a buyer named Count Orlock who wants to buy a home in Wisborg. Knock gets one of his rookie agents, a handsome guy named Hutter who desperately needs a sale, to go to Transylvania to seal the deal on a run-down split level house which happens to be directly across the street from his own home. Hutter travels by boat to Transylvania and then by carriage into the mountains to meet the buyer at his castle. Why a guy in a castle wants a split level in Wisborg will become clear later.

On his journey, he stops at an inn to eat and rest. He had left his Kindle at home but happens to find a book in his room to read himself to sleep. Unfortunately, it was a book on vampires so the sleeping part didn’t go so well. The next morning he takes the carriage further into the mountains. But the drivers refused to go anywhere near the Count’s castle so he has to walk the final few miles. He is furious that there are no Dunkin Donuts shops anywhere along the way. When he finally arrives at the castle the Count greets him outside. He seems nice enough but he is one of the creepiest, ugliest little dudes you have ever met. He was very gaunt looking and had a big bald head, huge ears, piercing eyes, gnarly teeth, and fingers about a foot long. But Hutter is a determined agent (i.e. starving.) He shows the Count the MLS listing info and after a wonderful dinner the Count signs on the dotted line to buy the property.
Hutter retires to his room for the evening. In the middle of the night the Count appears in his room and scares the daylights out of him. This scene is probably as spooky as anything you’ll see in any movie anywhere! Really. The next morning he awakes with what appear to be a couple huge mosquito bites on his neck. Hmmm… He leaves his room to talk to his new client but can’t find the Count anywhere. He finally goes down to the basement and finds the count lying dormant in a coffin. He realizes this guy is a vampire. Being a new agent, this scares him as he has never had a buyer that bites. He’ll learn to get used to that after a while.

Now he’s really scared and hides in his room. Later that evening he looks out the window and sees the Count loading coffins onto a TUPS wagon (that’s Transylvania United Parcel Service—that’s where UPS got started). The count climbs into the last coffin and ships himself to Wisborg via a TUPS schooner. Hutter finds he is locked in the castle but climbs out a three story window on a ripped up Garnet Hill sheet and makes his way home by horseback. He arrives home at the same time as the Count’s ship enters port. Everyone on the ship has disappeared except the captain who is dead but tied to the wheel (unlike that Italian ship captain who tipped his ship over.) The count sneaks of the ship with his coffin and moves into the split level across from Hutter. The harbor master arrives to inspect the ship and chalks up the carnage to the plague.

Hutter gets to his house and tells his beautiful wife, Ellen, what has been going on. After reading the book on vampires that Hutter stole from the inn, she realizes they’re in deep trouble. The book says that the only way to kill a vampire is for a beautiful woman who is pure of heart to distract the vampire until the sun comes up and the sunlight will kill him. She can see the Count eyeballing her from across the street. She realizes that she has been chosen and sure enough Count Orlock comes to her room in the moonlight. Hutter was apparently so tired from trying to make a living he never wakes up until it is too late. Count Orlock is so taken by Ellen, he keeps munching on her neck until the sun comes through the widows and he goes up in a cloud of smoke.

The moral of the story here is that if you market real estate in a neighboring state and you get a buyer, be careful not to sell them a house across the street as they might suck as a neighbor. Seriously, the movie is called “Nosferatu” and is an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While lacking the Spielberg special effects, it is considered to be one of the best vampire movies of all time and worth watching if you are a horror film fan or a budding real estate agent.

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